The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Large Rings

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Marius, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Howdy,
    For my next show the designer wants several macrame type hanging peices consisting of a cone of ropes tied around the circumference of a ring, and then more ropes hanging from the ring to the floor that can be moved around by the actors. Most of these are hula hoop sized, and that is what I'll be using for the ring part. Two of them, however, must be very large. 8' and
    14' to be precise, and I am at a loss on how to make such a large ring. I thought about aluminum conduit and a pipe bender, but if I did my math right the 14 footer has a 43' circumference. Do any of you incredibly smart and clever folks have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Rick
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    2,870
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    I think you're on the right track thinking of EMT (which is usually coated mild steel, not aluminum.) This site may help. What thickness do you desire the rings? Anything larger than 1" requires special, expensive, machinery. Would a 12'-8 7/8" diameter work instead of the 14' (as that's 4 x 10' lengths)?

    I would see if anyone knew an electrician, or call an electrical company and job it out to them. They can probably get better prices on materials than you can, and will certainly do a better job, as conduit bending is a craft requiring many years of practice to perfect. I'm guessing your largest ring would cost you $20-50, depending on the stock size and whether or not they had it leftover from a previous job. Keep the screws on the connectors to the inside of the circle, cover them with knots and they won't even be noticed.

    The above is for decorative, non-weight supporting rings only. If you want structural (and expensive) contact Tomcat or another truss manufacturer, who would be glad to build whatever you like from 50mm aluminum alloy stock. Arrow Dynamics bent some 12" pipe stock for a certain project here in Las Vegas, and you don't want to know what that cost! (I didn't know they went bankrupt, but it wasn't due to the Las Vegas job.)

    Edit: Just read your profile. It appears you're a teacher, so your first call should be to Facilities. Either there's an electrician already on campus, or they have a preferred electrical contractor who would be willing to do you a "favor," for a six-pack of appropriate non-alcoholic beverage. I don't generally offer this advice, but: "go hang out around a construction site." Outside the fence, of course.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  3. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    You might also be able to make a large diameter hoop with polyethylene pipe that is used for natural gas lines and drinking water, too. (This type of pipe is made in a continuous length, rather than 10' lengths.) The pipe is small diameter (I think an inch or so). I've used it for a 6-foot hoop to support an oversized "hoop-skirt". I'm not certain if will work for a 14-foot diameter hoop, though. That is, I'm not sure if it will stay rigid enough to support the hoop shape.

    Joe
     
  4. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Two great ideas. Many thanks. And the only thing the rings have to support is ropes hanging from them.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I've used JWL's idea before and it works great. The black poly pipe can be picked up at any home improvement store and there are even double ended connectors availible so you can stick the ends together. EMT will work pretty well also. you can bend it easily with a conduit bender or build your own table top pipe/tube bender. I'll draw a picture of one I built just for futre reference, it may not come in handy on this project but you never know what the future holds.
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,948
    Likes Received:
    225
    Occupation:
    Stageline Operator/Staging Supervisor
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    Is this poly pipe you're referring to also called Pex?
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I'm not sure of the Brand name. It's about 1" 1 1/4" OD about 3/16" wall thickness usually used to install Sprinkler systems in yards/gardens.

    < hope this doesn't double post I got a "can't display page" error the first time I tried to submit.>
     
  8. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    What's driving me nuts about this is I remember way back when I worked at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater we had this groovy hand-cranked pipe bender, but I can't for the life of me remember what the darned thing looked like!
     
  9. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Nashville TN
  10. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    PEX is cross-linked polyethylene. The PEX is very similar to, but not identical to, the polyethylene (PE) pipe that I was thinking of.

    Joe
     
  11. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Is this stuff heat malleable? I seem to recall that some of the plastic piping can be warmed up with a heat gun and will then hold the bend.
     
  12. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe can be heated to the point that is becomes pliable, then placed on a form and alowed to cool. After cooling, it will hold the shape. I'm not certain of the temperature that it becomes pliable, probably 200 to 300 F. An open flame is not recommended.

    Small diameter PE is flexible. I'm not sure what will happen if its heated and cooled.

    (I'm not sure about the pipe that Van described - If I had to guess, I would think its PE.)

    Joe
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    It is, but it comes rolled. getting it to hold a circular shape is not an issue. Getting it to lay flat is.:grin:
     
  14. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Ok, I just picked up a 50' roll of the stuff. Wish me luck.
    :)
     
  15. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Luck ! It'll work, You'll be fine, but let us know. Just in case.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice